LED Recessed Lighting

Posted Fri, 10/09/2009 - 21:06 by kpbadger

Our visit to the house tonight was at dusk, and that turned out to be perfect. The electricians today installed our LED recessed lighting in the kitchen and dining room and we got to see them in action.

Our choice was the Halo Lighting ML706830 fixture, the H750ICAT housing, and 494H06 trim.  Together, these parts are Energy Star qualified and also eligible for a Focus on Energy rebate ($30 per kit). These fixtures use less than 15 watts each.  (Read Brochure)

Here's what one looks like close up - see that the LED light source is really just a small square in the center of the can.


  • Uses 75% less energy than an incandescent bulb
  • Brighter than average 65 watt incandescent bulb
  • Unlike most CFL bulbs, LEDs are dimmable
  • Lasts 5 times longer than fluorescent and 50 times longer than incandescent
  • CRI over 80 and warm light (CCT of 3000K)
  • 3 year warranty

What we paid:

  • Housing: $11.40
  • LED module: $74.00
  • Trim: $12.95
  • Subtotal per LED fixture: $98.35
  • Focus on Energy rebate: ( $30.00 )
  • Net per LED fixture: $68.35

Comparison and savings:

Our electrician, Dan Flanders, kept in touch with us throughout our selection and purchase of the LED fixtures, and they installed and wired the LEDs for the same rate as normal recessed lighting.  Their standard rate to supply a recessed fixture and bulb is $30.00.  Therefore our net cost to "upgrade" from a standard incandescent recessed fixture to LED was $68.35 - $30.00 = $38.35 per fixture.

At a conservative estimate of 6 hours per day @ $0.11 per kWh, a 65 watt incandescent would cost $15.66 per year to operate.  The LED fixture costs $3.37 per year under the same assumptions. At a difference of $12.29, the payback for our upgrade is slightly over 3 years. That does not include the cost of bulb replacement, which again is 50 times less frequent than incandescent.

This, folks, is what we call a no-brainer ..... if, of course, it produces enough light and doesn't give our kitchen the warmth of a hospital room.

The verdict -- plenty of ambient light, good color rendering based on some construction materials that were lying around (see the orange extension cord and the red and blue on the grout bag), and good light density at counter level.  The final confirmation can only come once the cabinets and countertops are installed. But based on first impressions, we're definitely satisfied with the choice!

LED lights are installed: 1 over kitchen sink; 4 over general kitchen area; 2 over kitchen counter peninsula; 4 over dining room.  Total 11.